Publication Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



We analyze the career profiles of Italian legislators in the post-war period. Using a unique, newly collected dataset that contains detailed information on all the politicians who have been elected to the Italian Parliament between 1948 and 2008, we address a number of important issues that pertain to their career paths prior to election to Parliament, their parliamentary careers, and their post-Parliament employment. Our data span two institutional regimes: Italy's First Republic (1948-1994) and the Second Republic (1994-present), characterized by different electoral rules and party structures. We first present a brief overview of the Italian political system. We then provide a comprehensive view of the career profiles of Italian legislators over the entire sample period, and highlight the major differences between the First and the Second Republic. We also compare the profiles of Italian legislators to those of the members of the United States Congress. We then use our data to address a number of questions that pertain to the selection of Italian politicians, their labor market, and their overall quality. We also draw some general conclusions that contribute to the debate about the relative efficacy and desirability of alternative policies regarding the selection and the compensation of elected representatives.


politicians, parties, political careers


Labor Economics

Research Areas

Applied Microeconomics

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.